Green to Red to Black

One of the best things this farm gives us are the blackberries that grow wild and prolifically here.

After a couple of failed attempts to grow strawberries it occurred to me that it was foolish to battle nature for strawberries, when she was offering up an abundance of delicious blackberries, which grow without any effort from me.

They start out green.

They start out green.

 

After this they're black.

Then they turn red.  Finally, they’re black.

In just a few weeks I’ll be feasting on them.

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17 comments on “Green to Red to Black

  1. I think blackberry jam is the best on the planet …

  2. Jeff says:

    Do you make paths through the thickets so that you can get to the berries? Those thorns are really nasty!

    • Bill says:

      Definitely not a job you want to do while wearing shorts. Luckily, we have so many here that we can usually get all we need just by picking the ones growing along the sides of the roads and fields.

  3. Excellent! Blackberries are wonderful. What a blessing to be able to have them growing wild.

  4. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I have sweet memories about foraging blackberries. I was 20 years old and courting my first wife who lived in the back woods of Missouri. She had to adventurous brothers that intended to run off any boys that came courting. I was the only one that stood up and actually enjoyed the testing. Anyway, there were huge spots of wild blackberries that grew in the woods. It was a great adventure for me to be able to forage the berries and well you know be with my sweet heart.

    Here in Nebraska the wild berries to forage would be Mulberry and Elder berry. The Mulberry tree is a nuisance tree and has to be cut out of the fence lines on a continuous basis. The berries are very similar to black berries but grow on a tree instead of a bush. During the high light of the berry season birds will eat the berries and bomb just about anything with the digested result. And of course the favorite past time for birds is fence sitting which as mentioned results in planting Mulberry trees with fertilizer included. The Elder berries are mostly along country roads and are harvested in the fall of the year. They are little round berries that grow in clusters. These plants are more in the shrub category and are of the cane variety like blackberries are but without the thorns. They make great jelly and jam.

    Now comes the real test of my rain gutter system. I’m leaving to go to a graduation in Las Vegas, yeah, I know it’s tough but some one has to do it. The self watering system will be unattended for a week. Terra Nova Gardens is on its own for the week as well. I probably won’t be able to comment much if at all until next Wednesday.

    Have a great wild blackberry day and a productive week.

    • Bill says:

      Enjoy your trip to Vegas Dave! We’ll miss you while you’re gone but hope you have a wonderful time with family.

      I really like mulberries. They’re hard to find around here since people usually don’t want them around. I planted a mulberry tree shortly after we moved back but it didn’t survive. I need to do it again. They’re great to have near the chicken coop, as the chickens will feast on what falls from the tree.

      I don’t know anything about elderberries, but my wife just planted one here a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be looking forward to trying them.

  5. Wow, yours are much earlier than ours. Mine are still blossoming, won’t berry out for a month, and will ripen some time in mid to late August, and keep us in berries till the end of September.

    • Bill says:

      We’re probably a month or so ahead of you seasonally. One of the things I find interesting about reading blogs is seeing how the gardening seasons are different. Some folks (in warmer climes) have tomatoes and peppers already. And winter is coming in the Southern hemisphere. :)

      Whatever the timing, I’m glad we’ll both to enjoy the goodness of blackberries.

  6. I had a neighbour and friend who managed to tame blackberry bushes (brambles) as the fences at the edge of his property/ garden. He always had lots of berries, and lots of scratches. Blackberries are so prolific too, and the flowers great for bees, so hooray all around. Forgive me for posting this link, but the leaves too are great to stick in with fermented veg (maybe one leaf per jar) to help with keeping the crunch, and there’s this:

    http://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/on-bergamot-blackberry-leaf-and-earl-grey-tea/

  7. Amy Lou says:

    mmmm. Wild berries. I lived in Oregon for a while and in summer, the blackberries were everywhere. For the first time in my life, I ate something directly off a vine growing randomly on the roadside. It was beautifully delicious.
    Recently I found hundreds of this interesting-looking plant growing abundantly all over our property, mostly in the places where we’ve moved rocks or dug berms or otherwise disturbed the soil. I was so excited to see some bonus greenery! Then I looked up what it was… It’s called Russian Thistle. Also known as tumbleweeds. Oh the abundance of the desert. ;)

    • Bill says:

      You’re blooming where you’re planted, and that makes you one of my heroes. I’d rather have blackberries than tumbleweeds, but I really admire y’all for doing what Gary Snyder recommends: “Find your place on the planet. Dig in and take responsibility from there.”

      When we go pick blackberries we end up with cobbler and tick bites. And that’s OK.

      I’m hoping you have lots of beautifully delicious things on the homestead this year.

  8. shoreacres says:

    Well, I was frustrated beyond words by all these luscious comments, since the blackberry picking places all are well north of Houston. Or so I thought. I found one just south of me, and though I haven’t made direct contact with them, their recorded message says they will be open from 6-8 each night this week (after work), and that they have blackberries. Fingers crossed, and a short roadie on the schedule!

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